Mandelson surprised by political shift to the right but says coalition will last

City A.M. Reporter
THE COALITION will last out its intended term to 2015, according to Labour peer Peter Mandelson, although he added that it was “surprising” that the right, and not the left, has benefitted from the financial crisis.

Mandelson was speaking at a breakfast hosted by WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell to discuss the shift in European and American politics.

Asked if the government will survive until 2015, he said: “The public are not in a mood to reject the coalition... The coalition will last until they can bear each other no longer, which, yes, will probably be a good four years.”

But Mandelson said he was puzzled by Europe’s political shift rightwards.

“[The right] are scoring more points,” he said. “Capitalism is on trial, but why is the right benefitting from this and not the left? This is surprising.”

He also had some advice for Labour leader Ed Miliband, saying that reclaiming the centre ground of politics “is something Labour has to think through”.

As for European politics, he told the assembled business executives that they should not expect progress to be as fast as markets want.

“Does it have to move at the speed of a snail?” he said, versus the “nanosecond” change in markets. “Yes. Politics is like that. It moves slowly.”